democracy and socialism -Reply

Justin Schwartz jschwart at
Sat Jun 3 11:46:07 MDT 1995

On Fri, 2 Jun 1995 glevy at wrote:

> "People before profit" might make a catchy slogan. A similar slogan is
> (on a more specific issue): "Housing is a human right."
> It would be unwise, though, to rely on the bourgeois legal system for the
> fulfillment of these demands or on the court system for sympathy.  They
> could, however, be used as educational and organizing slogans.

A slogan is not the same as the language of an amendment to the
Constitution. And it's not news to anyone here that we won't get socialism
by passing such an amendment, which passage can only ratify the results of
a social revolution.

I wonder whether the following language would do:

Article one. All productive property owned by any citizen or resident of the
States of America, or by the United States or any State, or within the
territory of the United States, shall be owned collectively by all
citizens and legal residents of the United States.

Article two. Collective ownership, as specified in art. 1, shall
constitute fair compensation in the sense of the Fourth Amendnment of the
Constitution  for any loss of property suffered by implementation of this

Article three. Congress shall have the power to enforce this amendment by
appropriate legislation.

Obviously this would raise a lot of questions about what is productive
property and what is collective ownership.

Legalistically yours,

Justin Schwartz

> Jerry
> On Fri, 2 Jun 1995, Justin Schwartz wrote:
> >
> > Probbaly we do agree, more or less, at least that capitalists have no
> > moral right to pursue profit at others' expense. But they certainly do
> > have the legal right to do this, and the Constitution was not written, and
> > has not been construed (nor could it be) to suggest anything otherwise. We
> > might appeal to some of the deep moral principles embodied in the
> > Constitution (general welfare and all that) against capitalist rights, but
> > abolishing those rights,. from a strictly legal point of view, would take
> > a Constitutional amendment.
> >
> > A question for all and sundry: How might this be phrased?
> >
> > --Justin Schwartz
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >      --- from list marxism at ---
> >
>      --- from list marxism at ---

     --- from list marxism at ---


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